The Oakland Raiders need help all across their roster, but yesterday a quality player became available at the one position where the Raiders do not NEED to improve. The Cleveland Browns cut veteran middle linebacker D’Qwell Jackson and the Raiders were almost immediately linked to him as a potential landing place.
This is no big surprise since almost every talented free agent will have Oakland be mentioned this off season. The Raiders have the most cap space of any NFL team and need at least as much help as any NFL team. But does Jackson actually make sense for the Raiders?
Last season Nick Roach held down the middle linebacker position for the Raiders. While he played well, he is a bit undersized and could have been better in run defense. If any position in the Raiders linebacking corps should be upgraded, it would be middle linebacker, but Jackson is not necessarily the guy to do it.
He too is undersized for a prototypical run stuffing middle linebacker. At 6 feet 240lbs, he is an inch shorter than Roach and a few pounds heavier. He has had a better career than Roach but would not necessarily be an upgrade big enough to be worth spending the money.
Really, the only way getting Jackson makes much sense for the Raiders is if they plan on moving Roach outside or if they want to move to a 3-4 base defense and play Roach and Jackson along side each other. Might be a nice thought but in this humble blogger’s opinion, Jackson does not make a whole lot of sense for the Raiders right now.